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Is Romney Having Money Problems?

5:05 PM, Feb 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Zeke Miller of BuzzFeed reports:

Mitt Romney is running out of rich people.

The former Massachusetts governor’s gold-plated fundraising machine has depended almost exclusively on big checks from the wealthy individuals — business leaders, Mormon allies, longtime Republican Establishment donors — whom Romney and his team have been cultivating for years, pressing the cases that resonate for those crowds: That he’ll cut taxes; that he’ll beat Barack Obama; that he’s inevitable and they’d better get on board.

But Romney has proved unable to tap into the emotion-drived small-dollar contributions that helped power Barack Obama in 2008, and which fueled even his more Establishment rival, Hillary Clinton, this time four years ago when she too began to run out of big donors. The result: Republican fundraisers say that despite his success so far, they think Romney is fast approaching a wall, and that he will likely be forced to pay for the campaign out of his own deep pockets.

The Romney campaign denies that it's having money problems. And Miller notes that "Romney isn’t going to be out of money. As long as he can keep paying his relatively modest staff — he has, a supporter noted, a more streamlined campaign and fewer “hangers on” than in 2008 — and travel bills, Restore Our Future can provide the air cover."

But apparently big money donors are slowly turning to other projects:

But the campaign remains dogged by the sense that donors are beginning to give up. Three Republicans who work closely with Romney’s bundlers said they had begun to shift their focus away from the presidential campaign entirely.

"All the low-hanging fruit has been picked," said a top New York finance industry donor and fundraiser who is currently neutral in the race and described Romney as "a Republican John Kerry running Hillary Clinton's campaign."

“The view is: ‘I’m focusing on the senate races now and that’s it,’” said the New York Republican. “There’s a shift here, and it’s driven by the amount of money he had to spend to pound each of his adversaries."

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